In Sunday school today, we were asked if we could think of an instance where something we had done (and I don't remember the question exactly) had a positive impact on someone else's faith. Have you ever done something that helped someone else to see God or that led someone else to a transformational realization?
I don't know if I've ever done that. I do know, though, that other people have done that for me.
- In high school, my involvement in church was high. We had a strong youth group; I very much enjoyed my time in UMYF. In fact, I remember thinking in an officers' meeting one day that it would be a great goal in life to have a job that I enjoyed as much as being in youth group. After I went to college though, I lost my desire to go to church. While our church had a strong youth group, it did (and doesn't) have a particularly strong program for college kids. I would just as soon skip church as go. Once I got married, I still felt that way. My husband didn't, though. His desire to attend church inspired my own. I can't imagine what my life would be like without my involvement in church, and it was his attitude which changed my own.
- Before we had the boys, I took a two year class at church -- 2 1/2 hours a week -- to learn how to teach the Bethel Bible series. During that time, the pastor who taught the class told me that a particular Sunday school class needed a substitute for a week, and that I was going to do it. I had never taught Sunday school before, and I was scared to death, but I did it. He insisted on it.
- After that, I would teach now and then. One week, after teaching a Sunday school class -- I think it was about worrying -- I received a note from a person in the class, affirming my teaching ability. It was the beginning of my believing not just that I COULD teach, but that I WAS a teacher -- if that makes any sense. That difference changed my attitude -- teaching was not just something I did; it became something that I could not not do.
- Several people -- each at different times -- invited me to go on an Emmaus walk. I did, and it was transformational.
- One day I got an email that said, "Apply." I did.
I don't know if I have shown other people the presence of God, or if I have been part of God's transformational work in the world, but I know God has worked through other people to change my life. And I am grateful.
Image: The Ohio River last Thursday.